June is Home Safety Month. This is a very good time for everyone to survey their home environment for potential safety hazards that could harm any member of the family, youngest to oldest. Millions of unintentional injuries occur at home and at play every year and they are not accidents. In fact, today it is widely recognized that injuries are predictable, preventable, and controllable. Everyone would benefit if Americans started paying more attention to the safety of their environment and made the necessary adjustments. Consider the following:
Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger.
Each year, nearly 9.2 million children are seen in emergency departments for injuries and over 12,000 die from their injuries.
The estimated annual cost of unintentional child injuries is nearly $300 billion.
Injuries due to falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury.
The leading causes of child injury include burns, drownings, falls, poisonings, and road traffic injuries. Every parent wants to protect their children from harm and to keep them safe. Most of the time, all it would take is increased awareness of the potential for injury and what can be done to prevent it.
We should not forget about ourselves or older family members who are also vulnerable to the potential life-altering impact of unintentional injury. One likely contributing factor of injury is the habit of "multi-tasking" when our attention is not focused on what we are doing or we are trying to do too many things at once. Everyone could probably slow down a little and focus more. After all, each and everyone of us probably has a memory of a preventable injury or "near miss". Please consider:
Every day in the U.S., 55 people die of a home injury and another 58,000 are injured enough to seek medical care.
In the U.S., 1/3 of adults over the age of 65 fall each year.
Among the elderly, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths.
Injury prevention is in our own hands and there are many simple steps that can be taken to help ensure safety. There is a lot of information available, so please take the time to learn more about how to keep your family safe. It will be time well spent.
http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/hometips http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HomeSafety http://www.cdc.gov/safechild http://www.usa.safekids.org http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Index.html http://www.homesafetycouncil.org